Book Chat: Lost Valley

 (Extinction Survival Series)

by Walt Browning

An exciting first book in the Extinction universe created by Nicholas Sansbury Smith. Browning presents a new group of people trying to survive the brutal world of the infected known as Variants.

MYRA’S HORROR BLOG REVIEWS : I wanted to write reviews as if I were sharing the love of a book with a friend. What I liked about it, from storyline to characters; to include any parts that had a negative impact on me as a reader. Join me on the couch as we explore today’s exciting read.






War has a way of following some people…

John Eric Carver and Shrek are a retired Navy SEAL war dog team, now living in the mountains outside of San Diego. Both man and dog thought their life was now settled, finding peace on the forty acre ranch they had moved to. But life, and a mutated virus, changed all that. 
Now, they have to survive a worldwide pandemic. Taking refuge in a nearby Boy Scout camp, he leads a group of teens and their parents as they are forced to deal with infected creatures that are rapidly consuming the world. Will John and Shrek survive another war, or will this be the end of the line for the Seal team?


In case you didn’t read the foreword by Nicholas Sansbury Smith, the infected in this book will seem very familiar, because they are the Variants in Smith’s fabulous Extinction series. We are introduced to multiple people, but the main characters are: Carver, an x-Seal; the military dog, Shrek, who fought with Carver in Afghanistan; Hope, a neighbor and her teen son Kyle. There’s also Jennifer, one of the ladies working at the camp.

In the opening, Carver and other personnel are readying the Schoepe Boy Scout Camp for this year’s arrivals. When they start hearing about a virus spreading and the National Guard being called up, Carver’s radar is up. He discovers all military have been recalled to their duty stations, which means something epic is happening. After the parents pick up their kids, Carver starts gathering supplies from his farm and getting the camp organized.

Jennifer goes on a drug run in the city; one of the kids still at camp is almost out of insulin. She’d chosen to journey to a city further away because her soldier boyfriend is meeting her there.  Abruptly, Garrett is called away to report to duty before they even finish dinner. Upon awakening in the hotel room, Jennifer is shocked when she looks out the window, seeing attacks of people on the street below. The situation escalates and soon the crazy people are running in the hallway outside her room. She is stuck. Staying quiet, the undead wander away and Jennifer finally escapes, but she is trapped in an office in the lobby. Jennifer cries, knowing the door wont’ hold. Like a prayer answered, the military are on a sweep and she is rescued.

Meanwhile, Hope is still at work at the country club as things get terrifyingly dangerous when an infected man runs amok. Carver goes to pick up Hope, running into the deadly scene at the club. Shrek scopes out the infected so Carver can kill them. After being trapped temporarily, they make it out and back to camp.

Several families, invited by Jennifer when they came to pick up their children, return to the camp for a secure haven. The Perron family was not invited, because the parents argue constantly. They show up at camp, after much quarreling over stupid decisions at their house. The parents are unwelcome guests, but the camp survivors can’t turn away the children. The family is given a cabin, and the scene following was pitiful as the mom turns. One of the other families included a detective who analyzed the slaughter house, detailing how the infection happened. It did help the others at camp realize that the virus was not air borne, but blood borne, which unfortunately for the Perron’s included carrying in contaminated items.

This book is a bit different; because we readers get a peek into the mind of Shrek. It didn’t bother me as a reader, but it does give it a fantasy element. Also we see into the thoughts of a coyote; before infection, during the turning and afterward. The workings of the canine mind as presented by the author made sense and added a unique perspective. Also, we see inside several people’s minds as the infection takes them over; sad and poignant. There was lots of fighting and terror.

Recommended for zombie fans and those following the Extinctions series.


NOTE: All my reviews are published in Uncaged Book Reviews emag under Myra’s Horror Blog Reviews for October.